I discovered Russ in the summer of last year. I was listening to Sirius XM in my brand new car enjoying the diversity of hip-hop and RnB I now had access to when What They Want came on. I cranked up the volume and found myself really enjoying the song and singing along to the lyrics even though it was my first time listening to the song.
As soon as I got home, I knew I had to discover this so-called Russ. Upon a quick YouTube search, I found myself immersed in his mix of RnB and rap songs that detailed his struggle on the come up as an artist, his experience with romance and his admiration for his newfound fame.
I immediately followed him on all of his social media and continued to listen to his music. My admiration for Russ as an artist took over and so when I heard he was releasing a new album on May 5, 2017, I couldn’t contain my excitement.
I’d been feeling really down and depressed this week so Russ’ timing for the album drop was perfect as I kept it on repeat to get me through the week. This is why I’m writing this article now, to give Affinity readers and Russ fans my complete and totally honesty regarding Russ’ debut studio album, “There’s Really a Wolf”.
Russ introduced us to 16 brand new songs and included 4 that we already knew. The album tackles heartbreak, loss, hustle and success, giving us an interesting mix of Russ’ heartbreak tales and “journey to success” stories. In this album, Russ shows us that whether your boyfriend just broke up with you and you need to know that there are other people in the world who feel the same way you do or you just did amazing on your exams and you feel on top of the world, this album tells a story that everyone can relate to.
Russ proves himself as an excellent and skilled producer as the beats on the album all fall into different genres of music making this a musically diverse album. To elaborate, songs such as Cherry Hlil and Losin’ Control are more of ballad-type songs while One More Shot gives off a dancehall/ Caribbean vibe and I’m Here and The Stakeout feel like conscious rap.
Similarly, Russ hit the nail on the head with his lyrics as every story painted a very clear picture. For example, on Losin Control, Russ tells the story of his first girlfriend who’s unable to trust any man because of the way Russ treated her, a perspective I know I can relate to. On MVP, Russ lets us know that even though he’s made it this far, he still has a long way to go; “Only time will tell but I been feelin’ like it’s my time / How long you gonna keep your star player on the sidelines?” he raps. Russ posted an image on Twitter describing why exactly he chose the title he did which was a clear reflection of the lyrics in his songs,
Story behind album title…
There's Really A Wolf
— Russ (@russdiemon) April 22, 2017
Personally, due to the rough week I’ve had, I would’ve preferred to hear some more crooners and RnB tracks that I can relate to. It’s evident though that Russ is at a point in his life where he’s finally taking in the success that’s come to him. For that reason, I won’t disapprove the grind or his pride because Russ has shown us time and time again that he’s worked extremely hard to get where he is now.
Hopefully Russ’ success keeps growing so he can continue to tell his story because it’s evident he doesn’t plan on giving up anytime soon. I also hope he goes through a little more heartbreak or breaks a little more hearts so I can get some more of those crooners I desperately need paired with his beautiful, soothing vocals.
My favorite song on the album: